Saints’ harriers treasure superb dual-meet season

Saints’ harriers treasure superb dual-meet season

Boys’ squad posts 9-1 mark in Metropolitan Division; girls’ team owns 9-3 record

PAWTUCKET – The St. Raphael Academy cross country program recently wrapped up its finest dual-meet showing in the Metropolitan Division in recent memory, as the boys’ team posted a 9-1 mark that was the Saints’ best record in nearly two decades, and the girls’ squad, which went 3-7-1 last season, dramatically improved its record by going 9-3.

SRA head coach Chris Magill recently talked about his two teams and the progress they made this season, and he began his conversation by talking about his boys’ squad, which took second place in the division and qualified as a team for the RIIL Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2, at Ponaganset High’s 3.1-mile course.

“The boys’ record is the best we’ve had since 2001, when we went undefeated,” said SRA head coach Chris Magill, whose team’s only loss this year was its 17-46 defeat to La Salle on Sept. 24.

Leading the way for the boys’ team are senior Nasavell Medeiros, who placed 14th at the state meet last November to earn Second-Team All-State honors, and junior standout Darius Kipyego, and the number three runner is freshman newcomer Pedro Mayol.

“Pedro is one of the top freshmen, if not the top in Rhode Island,” Magill said. “He’s been nothing short of amazing.”

The three captains for Magill are Medeiros, Kipyego, and senior Colby Luiz, who is the number four runner, and Magill said he has a pretty deep team after the top four runners, highlighting Kipyego’s brother Devan, who is a freshman; his son, junior C.J. Magill; and freshman Andrew Worden. Another standout 9th-grader is Kaydn Reilly.

“We have a really strong freshmen class, plus veteran leadership in Nas, Colby, and Darius,” Magill said. “Their leadership is invaluable.”

With the Saints’ recent success over the last few years, the team has grown. In the last dual meet they competed in. they had 16 active runners. And the boys’ squad still has some invitationals left on their schedule before the Class C championship meet on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Ponaganset, including the Manhattan College Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park in New York.

“That’s a big meet for us,” Magill said. “The last time we won it was 2001, and we definitely have a chance to win.”

As for the girls’ team, the Saints stepped it up this season and placed fourth in the standings behind Barrington (12-0), La Salle (11-1), and Portsmouth (10-2). The Saints, who had finished in a tie for eighth place last season, last won more than seven dual meets in 1997.

“The girls have been hard-working girls,” Magill said. “They do their job every meet and really grind out races – we’ve had a number of close races. I’m so proud of them. We finished fourth, and unfortunately, the top three get an automatic bid to the state championship (meet). At the class meet, we’ll have to battle for a spot, but I think they have a chance to make states.”

The number one runner for the girls is junior Rachael Mongeau (pictured), who went unbeaten in the Saints’ four dual meets, which Magill said is no easy feat when you’re dealing with the runners from Barrington and La Salle. Last season, Mongeau won the Class C title and earned First-Team All-State honors by taking seventh place at the state meet.

She is a captain, along with senior Alexi Angell, who is the number three runner. The Saints’ second runner is a freshman, Tyla Forbes.

“She is a very strong freshman and really is doing well,” Magill said about Forbes. “She has the potential to be one of the top 10 freshmen in the state. She has been a great addition.”

The fourth runner is sophomore Valeria Uribe, who also plays on the volleyball team – Magill said she dedicated herself to running all summer – and rounding out the top five is sophomore Meghan Cabral, who came out for the team to get faster for the upcoming swimming season.

The girls’ team is not as deep as the boys’ squad, with only nine active runners on its roster, but it is a solid group, Magill said. He just needs them to stay healthy.

“I’m really proud of everyone on both teams,” Magill said. “It’s a credit to all of my coaches with Lisa Mongeau and Steven Bishop. They are two talented coaches.”